The best intentions

I think it’s inevitable to hear some people say the wrong things when facing a tragedy. As much as I try to remind myself that people mean well, there are some things that I hope I never hear again. The big ones?

“Everything happens for a reason” and “everything always turns out for the best.”

I heard both of these things today, both from the same person. I didn’t say anything after it was said. At all. I was repeating in my head “she means well” a thousand times over. I’m not sure if my silence made it clear that I didn’t like it, but I didn’t want to say anything because I knew she’d feel terribly about it.

I haven’t said anything here about the wrong things people say, mainly because I don’t want to make anyone who reads it wonder if he or she has said the wrong thing. Unfortunately, I can’t keep this in anymore. The good news is that I don’t think there’s anyone who reads this who has said the things that really get to me.

I don’t know what it is about these phrases that makes people say them, but they are like knives in my heart when I hear them. Not everything happens for a reason. Unless the person’s reason is either that my life sucks, or that they mean it literally, that Jillian died because she was born way too early and her brain hemorrhaged because the veins in her brain were too tiny and fragile and we decided to remove her life support because she would have zero quality of life, there’s not a reason for it. I’m pretty sure that’s not what people mean when they say it. I know they’re trying to comfort me, but it is the least comforting thing that anyone could say. Well, except for the ever popular “she’s in a better place.” Nope, sorry. The best place for my baby is here with me. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise.

That goes along with “everything always turns out for the best.” Unless my baby is going to manage to come back to life, this situation will not get better. We may learn to live our lives despite this tragedy, but there is not a silver lining. There is no best. This situation had the worst possible outcome. Sure, we’ve learned a lot from it, and we were truly lucky to have her in our lives, but I’d rather learn nothing and get Jillian back.

10 thoughts on “The best intentions

  1. It hurts. People try but… They just dont knwo what to say and often say the wrong thing. Even though we are at a place where we are just grateful for the time we had with our babies, their losses are still knives in our hearts.

    Thinking of you…

  2. I'm really glad you posted this. I've never been in your situation, and I don't think I can even quite imagine what it is you are going through. While I have never, to my recollection, said either of these things to people who have lost their beautiful babies, I think I have to agree that people feel the need to say something, to try and comfort you.

    "Everything happens for a reason", is such a bullshit thing to say, because of everything you addressed above. I think what people are trying to say is "it's not your fault", which I think you already know, and could be so much more helpful if they would just say that instead of the old cliche.

    "Everything turns out for the best", another cliche. I don't think this one can be explained away, but again, people have likely had these words spoken to them when they're suffering, and they just barf it out to you when they know not what to say.

    I don't mean to make excuses for people, because there are none. I think it's insane people remain so insensitive and don't think ahead of the words they might say to you since this is something you may want to discuss.

    Finally, I agree, there is absolutely no possible way that your sweet Jillian is in a better place than she would be with you and your husband. You remain a fantastic mother even if your baby isn't physically here with you. I'm thinking of you.


  3. Two that I heard a couple times: "it wasn't meant to be" and "god must have a plan for you." Hugs

  4. I absolutely hate those phrases too. People shouldn't even be allowed to think they are acceptable to say when someone loses someone.

  5. I absolutely detest these phrases. It's a sincere attempt to help, but it just kind of shows how people truly don't get what we're going through at all (which I understand – I didn't get it before, either). I'm so sorry – hopefully you can minimize your contact with this person for a little bit while you're healing.

  6. Just want to offer some *hugs*

    I keep trying to think of something else to say, but I think LauraJane summed it up very well. People just don't think.

  7. ::HUGS::

    I kno,w hun. People can often say the least comforting things. Even when they think they're helping.

    Today a friend told me, "things happen for a reason", "we just have to get through it," and "at least we know we can get pregnant again." Yes, well if you has listened when you asked about the testing you would know that getting pregnant isnt the issue…it's staying pregnant.

  8. Those all are awful and serve no helpful purpose. 🙁 I'm really sorry that hurt you, honey. If you don't know what to say, why just say that? "I don't know what to say, but I'm here and I'm with you." ?!

  9. Ok, forever I've always thought of myself as a "bad" person for not knowing what/how to say something comforting to a person who's suffered a loss & decided to keep quiet instead. After reading this I feel better about not saying anything "just to say something". As always, big hugs to you both.


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